Who is Arthas? Edit
Arthas is the main protagonist AND antagonist of WarCraft III. Yes, you heard me. Well, main protagonist for a quarter of Reign of Chaos, but whatever. Many draw parallels between him and Kerrigan, but there are actually very few. Let's see... They both start out as good Humans and turn evil(One by choice, one not...), and they both end up as super powers in the expansions... That's it. I don't care what StarCraft/Kerrigan fanboys say, they aren't that comparable. Shut up.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to Arthas himself. Despite the high quality and depth of his character, his backstory is actually quite thin. Basically, he was a pampered prince who lived in fortune for all of his life, before eventually becoming a Paladin and fighting for justice and light across the land. He also beat out some Elven emo for the love of a hawt mage, which just screams badass.
Arthas' true story, however, begins in the WarCraft III Human campaign. It starts out as a regular day, with some meddlesome Orcs raiding a town and taking prisoners. Arthas and his mentor, Uther, charge in and drive the Orcs away, and follow them back to their hideout, where they begin ritually sacrificing their captives. Arthas, however, stops the Orcs before they can compete their ritual, and saves the day. However, these events are merely a prelude to a much bigger story. Arthas hears of a mysterious plague ravaging nearby territories. What does he do? It's a Video Game. Naturally, he chooses to investigate, although Uther leaves him there.
When he arrives, he finds legions of undead, pillaging the land. What's more, villagers are becoming infected with the aforementioned plague and becoming Zombies, and the fallen are being resurrected as Skeletons. It is revealed that this plague is spread through the grain, by a mysterious cult...
Meeting up with Jaina Proudmoore, the hawt mage he was sexing, the two destroy the granaries and kill the cult's leader, the Necromancer Kel'Thuzad. However, they aren't in time to stop the shipment, and all of north Lordaeron's countryside is just waiting to explode with the undead. Well, one town and one city, at least. The two and their army head to a nearby town, also infected with the plague. After killing off the Zombies, they learn of a massive Undead Scourge army headed their way. Arthas sends Jaina to get Uther and his Knights, while he fends off the Scourge. Eventually, and just as he faces insurmountable odds, Uther and a ridiculously huge army appear, and slaughter the hell out of the Scourge.
Seeing such hopelessness and death, however, has by this point began to take a huge toll on Arthas. He seeks revenge, and sets off to Stratholm, the largest city in Northern Lordaeron, and the infected grain's last stop. Along the way, a mysterious prophet tells him to leave Lordaeron behind and head across the sea to Kalimdor, but he arrogantly refuses. Unfortunately, many citizens of the city have already consumed the grain, and are therefore infected. Arthas, in a blind rage, sees no other solution than to kill each and every one of the infected, so that they can't further boost the Scourge's ranks. Uther refuses, and so do many of his knights. Jaina, too, rejects Arthas, further enraging him. As prince, he relieves Uther of his duties, and sets about slaughtering the population. While doing so, he clashes with the Dreadlord Mal'Ganis, a leader of the Scourge. Mal'Ganis taunts Arthas, saying that the Scourge is unstoppable, and he begins to gather infected villagers to bolster it.
After the extermination is finished, Arthas confronts Mal'Ganis, who flees to Northrend, luring the Paladin into the icy north. Again, Jaina and Uther refuse to follow, thinking Arthas mad. Uther tells Arthas that revenge is not the way of a Paladin, which Arthas shrugs off. Jaina heads to Kalimdor and eventually becomes mankind's hero, saving them from the Scourge, while Uther heads back home, to inform the king and hopefully stop Arthas before he does something stupid.
Arthas arrives at Northrend, and journeys in, lured by Mal'Ganis' taunts. Along the way he encounters friend of his and Explorer Muradin Bronzebeard and his expedition, who are searching for the lost and cursed runeblade Frostmourne. Arthas volunteers to help him, hoping to use it for his revenge, and the two team up. However, halfway through the expedition a messenger from Lordaeron tells them that at Uther's request, the King has insisted that the army return. In response, Arthas, Muradin and a band of mercenaries take a shortcut to the ships, reaching them before the army can, and destroy them. Arthas turns on the Mercenaries and blames it solely on them, insisting that his captain and men execute them.
A disgusted Muradin confronts him, but Arthas, now more or less mad, ignores him. The two hunt for Frostmourne and the power to defeat Mal'Ganis. They reach it, and defeat a guardian spirit, who warns Arthas not to touch the blade for his sake. Arthas ignores it and frees the blade, inadvertantly killing his friend. Arthas, however, doesn't seem to care. He leads his army into Mal'Ganis' base, destroys it, and defeats the Dreadlord. However, the demon mocks him, saying that he was now controlled by his master the Lich King through the blade. Arthas says that he knows, and at his new master's command, kills the shocked and betrayed Dreadlord, before heading out alone, into the icy depths...
Months later, Arthas returns home, met with a huge parade. Immediately, he confronts his father the King, who greets him with open arms. You can imagine what happens next.
King Terenas: What are you doing, my son? Arthas: Succeeding you... Father.
Arthas murders his father in a brilliant FMV(possibly gaming's best...). He is, however, vastly outnumbered, and is quickly whisked away by another Dreadlord, Tichondrius, and instructed to gather the Cult so that he may revive Kel'Thuzad. Arthas does so, killing Uther as they fight over an urn necessary for the revival. With everything in place, Arthas heads to the High Elven capital of Silvermoon, hoping to use its magical energies to perform the resurrection. Arthas and the Scourge rip through the city, ruining the land, and killing the ranger Sylvanus Windrunner, who, having hindered Arthas many times, he wants to make suffer. He turns her into a Banshee(Which later becomes a Dark Ranger), bastardising her.
Kel'Thuzad is revived and the city is ruined, but the two aren't done yet. They raid Jaina's old home of Dalaran and summon Archimonde, a leader of the uber demonic army, the Burning Legion. As an example, Archimonde levels Dalaran using SAND.
After that, Arthas hangs back for most of the rest of Reign of Chaos, with one exception. He fights evenly with Illidan Stormrage, who he uses to kill Tichondrius. The reason behind this is that the Lich King Ner'Zhul isn't very popular with the Dread Lords, or for that matter, the Burning Legion. He was imprisoned after making the Scourge for their use, and naturally Ner'Zhul wants rid of them, which leads us to six months later and The Frozen Throne.
By this time Arthas has returned and seized Lordaeron, and his only concern is a few pockets of resistance which with the aid of Kel'Thuzad, Dark Ranger Sylvanus and a huge undead horde, he disposes of easily. However, he begins to weaken, which is revealed to be because of a fracture in the Frozen Throne(Ner'Zhul's resting place), created ages ago, when the Lich King pushed it out of his prison purely so Arthas could find it. As a result, the Lich King's control over the undead vanishes, and Arthas is relieved of most of his force. Some however, remain loyal, most notably Kel'Thuzad, Arthas' only friend. In order to regain his strength, Arthas heads towards Northrend and the Frozen Throne while Kel'Thuzad stays in Lordaeron.
In Northrend, Arthas meets up with Anub'Arak, an ancient Nerubian(Spider-like people) who serves the scourge. The two clash with the Blood(Formerly High) Elf forces of Kael'Thas(The same Emo Elf he beat for Jaina's love) and some Naga, also taking control of Sapphiron, a powerful Blue Dragon. The two head for the Frozen Throne by way of an ancient Nerubian city, where they kill what's left of Muradin's expeditionary force, solve a war between Scourge and anti-Scourge Nerubians, and kill some cool-looking things called Faceless Ones.
Finally, they reach the Frozen Throne's area. Once more, they fight the Blood Elves and Naga, and at the foot of the Frozen Throne, Arthas(now returned to full strength) faces off against Illidan Stormrage, who had been leading Kael'Thas and the Blood Elves at the request of the Burning Legion. The two duel, and after an intense battle, Arthas wins, humiliating(but not killing) his opponent.
In another great FMV, Arthas ascends and frees the Lich King's remains, fusing with him. Arthas becomes the new Lich King and sits atop the Frozen Throne, ruling over the Scourge.
Arthas, at the moment, has almost no role in World of Warcraft. Basically, he's sitting on the Frozen Throne, building his strength and bossing Kel'Thuzad and Sapphiron around. However, he's going to have a huge role in the next expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, so trust me, there's a lot more we don't know yet.
Arthas is a fantastic character, and an excellent example of a hero turned dark. He has many advantages over Kerrigan,(including contest polls lawlol) mainly the fact that he turned of his own volition, and while he may not have as deep a backstory, his onscreen tale is so much more. Arthas is an extremely deep and developed character for an RTS, and one of the best in Video Games. That and he has some great battle quotes.
Finally, you might be wondering why a first round loser's getting such a large writeup. Well, he did what many thought was impossible, and going against almost the entire Board, beat Diablo and would have beaten KOS-MOS if it weren't for that pesky SFF. Also, he's just that awesome.
Frostmourne hungers..." - Arthas
Contest History Edit
Win-Loss Record: 1-3
Summer 2007 Contest - Division 1 - Second Group
- Division 1 Round 1 --- 3rd place, 21950 [15.67%] - Mega Man, 70743 [50.49%] - KOS-MOS, 25822 [18.43%] - Diablo, 21603 [15.42%]
Most people expected Arthas to be weak in this contest and expected to finish in a distant fourth. While Arthas was nowhere near winning this match he was able to prove that he was the strongest Blizzard character by defeating Diablo in a token match for third.
Summer 2008 Contest - Division 4 - Fourth Group
- Division 4 Round 1 --- 2nd place, 35479 [26.69%] - Pikachu, 42741 [32.15%] - Ike, 34477 [25.94%] - Spy, 20239 [15.22%]
- Division 4 Round 2 --- 3rd place, 28382 [21.21%] - Pikachu, 40553 [30.30%] - Alucard, 39153 [29.26%] - Captain Falcon, 25734 [19.23%]
With the release of the expansion pack for World of Warcraft and Pikachu being in the match the majority of the board expected Arthas to come in second in this match. Ike may have come close at the beginning, but Arthas quickly built up a lead and while Ike manage to cut him a lot during the ASV in the end he was mostly safe. Some people thought Arthas had a chance at defeating Alucard after that performance, but in the end Arthas struggled to defeat a SFF Captain Falcon.
Winter 2010 Contest - Heart Division - 12 Seed
- Heart Round 1 --- Lost to (5) Kefka, 18726 [39.43%] - 28769 [60.57%]
- Extrapolated Strength --- 103rd Place [18.00%]
Arthas was a huge favourite to win over Kefka, if he could defeat Diablo than what was stopping him from defeating Kefka? In one of the most shocking matches in the entire contest Arthas not only lost, but failed to break 40% on Kefka. While Arthas looked a bit better later on in the contest based on Kefka's performance that still doesn't changed what he did.